Ecuador voters will have plenty of choices for president in the February election. Sunday is the deadline for political parties to name their presidential and vice presidential candidates and 15 of the tickets have ready been identified.
There are 23 parties certified to run candidates in the presidential and National Assembly elections, although not all will field a presidential candidate.
Among the presidential candidates already nominated and considered early favorites are Guillermo Lasso of CREO, Yaku Perez of Pachakutik, Gustavo Larrea of Democracy Yes, and Andrés Arauz of Social Commitment. Yet to be named is the standard bearer for Alianza Pais, the party of former president Rafael Correa and President Lenin Moreno.
Among the other notable candidates are Álvaro Noboa, purportedly Ecuador’s richest man who is making his six presidential bid, Fabricio Correa, brother of the ex-president, and former presidents Lucio Gutiérrez and Abdalá Bucaram, both of whom were turned out of office before completing their terms. Bucaram, who spent much of his life in exile in Panama, is currently under house arrest in Guayaquil for this alleged role in a hospital purchasing scandal.
The nomination attracting the most attention is that of former president Correa as vice president on the Social Commitment ticket with Arauz. It is widely expected that the national election council will disallow his candidacy due to his conviction in a bribery case and the fact that he no longer lives in Ecuador.
Notable for his absence is former vice president Otto Sonnenholzner who announced Thursday that he has decided not to run. In June, early favorite Jaime Nebot took himself out of consideration, saying he intended to devote himself to promoting a popular referendum to balance the national budget and target corruption.